23rd February 2021
Hull’s Guildhall carillon bells and Barnard Cook clock have fallen silent to make way for major repairs to one of the last remaining Time Balls in the UK.
The historic Guildhall Greenwich Time Ball is the highest in the UK at 60 metres above ground level, which stands above the clock tower, is to be replaced with a new one and reclaim its position in the city’s skyline.
Hobson and Porter are currently installing 21 levels of scaffold and have reached the Guildhall clock tower. They will undertake work to install a new Time Ball with internal mechanism along with improvements to the masonry and windows.
The Barnard Cook clock which operates the four faces on the tower’s exterior is programmed specially to maintain ‘Hull Time’. Chimes are played at every quarter and a special tune at alternate hours, as the declaration of the new hour is shared between The Guildhall and Hull Minster.
Clockmakers, Smith of Derby have undertaken the work to switch off the clocks and bells until the restoration takes place. They were last turned off for the UK City of Culture, Place Des Anges – the enchanting aerial spectacular that took place in 2016.
The clock faces will also be covered to protect whilst works are being carried out.
Councillor Daren Hale, Portfolio Holder for Economic Investment, Regeneration and Planning, Land and Property, said: “In order to protect the clock and the bells, they will be temporarily turned off.
“The carillon bells and the special tunes are loved by many and will be missed while works to the Time Ball are complete.
“Be rest assured they will be working again in the autumn when we will enjoy some of the many recognised tunes we all love.”
The clock and bells will be reinstated once the works are complete to the Guildhall Time Ball in the autumn.